Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia
Departamento de Química
Teacher in charge
Teresa Maria Fonseca de Moura
General Physiology explores and describes the dynamic processes of life with emphasis on homeostatic mechanisms. It covers life from molecular to cellular, tissue, organ and system levels.
Special relevance is given to the physical-chemical basis of life: formation of ionic and charge gradients, water and solutes (ions and non electrolyte) fluxes, generation of action potentials. The acid-base regulation and water and salt balance of the whole organism are discussed.
The teaching is focused in the Mammalian Physiology giving an overview of different systems: endocrine, circulatory, urinary, respiratory, digestive and nervous. It focuses on the role of these different systems in the maintenance of the homeostasis.
After completion of this course student should be able: a) to manipulate electrophysiological measurements; b) to present and analyse data (figures, graphs and tables); c) to use the concepts and theories from natural sciences to explain physiological process; d) to do direct exploration, instrumental or laboratorial of some of the physiological systems; e) to memorize and manipulate of facts, concepts and theories related to physiological systems functioning; f) to understand the fundamental steps of scientific process doing open practical works (not of demonstrative type) or using scientific published work; g) to use critically different sources of information (Textbook‚s, Scientific publications, Lessons, experimental work, etc.); h) to manipulate mathematical models.
Attendance of General Biochemistry and Cell Biology courses
Cellular physiology: membrane and transport systems. Equilibrium, steady state and non equilibrium conditions. Water and solute (electrolytes and non-electrolytes) fluxes; ionic equilibrium and membrane potential; excitable cells, generation of action potential. Tissues and tubular organs.
Homeostasis and Salt and Fluid balance in the organism. Acid / Base Regulation.
Systems: Global vision of several systems and its role in the maintenance of the homeostasis of the whole organism:
Cardiovascular System (its role in the transport of O2 and nutrients, etc.); Respiratory System (exchange of O2 and CO2 between internal and extern environment); Gastrointestinal System (processing of nutritious and elimination of wastes); Nervous System (co-ordination of the functions of the whole organism through electric signs and release of neurotransmitters); Renal System (maintenance of water and salts and acid / base regulation); Endocrine System (endocrine glands and hormones, regulation of the metabolism in general and Ca and phosphate metabolism)
The students will be divided in different groups and will present seminars based on the behavior of the different systems: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal, Renal, Endocrine and Nervous systems.
It is predicted the use of mathematical models to simulate the behavior of cells, epithelia, tubular organs and excitable cells.
1- Water fluxes across cell membranes are measured using the stopped flow technique and water permeability coefficients are calculated and activation energies for transport.
2-Electophysiological techniques will be applied to:
a) Artificial membranes, in order to demonstrate the appearance of potential differences and currents due to ion fluxes. I/V curves will be constructed
b) Epithelia mounted in Ussing type chambers where the effect on the short circuit current, of specific inhibitors of several transport systems, will be observed.
c) Excitable cells, where the behavior of voltage gated channels will be observed. I/V curves will be constructed.
Blaustein, Kao and Matteson
The Mosby Physiological Monograph Series
Elsevier Mosby 2004
HANDBOOK OF PHYSIOLOGY
Chapter 6 - Basic Principles of Transport. Macey, Robert I. and Moura, Teresa F.
American Physiological Society, Oxford University Press. New York. Ed. Joseph F. Hoffmann and James D. Jameson. 1997.
BERNE AND LEVY PHYSIOLOGY
Bruce Koeppen and Bruce Stanton
Elsevier Mosby, 6º Ed. 2008
PRINCIPLES OF NEURAL SCIENCE
E.R. Kandel, J.H. Schwartz, and T.M.
Elsevier/North Holland 3º Ed. New Jersey. 1991.
Brooks/Cole 4º Ed. 2001.
Walter F. Boron, Emile L. Boulpaep
The course has two main components:
Theoretical component: Lectures.
The practical component consists of:
1 – Computer classes: Numerical Simulation of Complex Systems based on compartmental analysis and application of simple physical basis
2 – Seminars given by the students on given topics.
3- Laboratory sessions: electrophysiological techniques applied to artificial and biological membranes in order to measure ion fluxes. Cell culture manipulation techniques. Measurements of water fluxes.
Evaluation takes into account the students performance on the practical part (seminar and laboratory) and on the theoretical part (tests or exam), being the final grade calculated by the following expression.
Final grade = 70% theoretical grade + 30% practical grade
To obtain frequency it is necessary to attend all laboratory classes and seminars and to obtain a positive grade in the practical evaluation. The frequency is valid for 3 years.